Powerful. Poignant. Beautiful. Bold. Compelling. Gripping. Stunning. Shocking. All words I’d use to describe Lauren Oliver’s incredible new new psychological thriller, Vanishing Girls. The story is, at its heart an intensely moving and powerful story about grief, guilt, and the deep love between two sisters. Short story: I loved it.
The Quick Catch-Up: Nothing has been the same for sisters Nick and Dara since the night of “the accident,” Previously thick as thieves, the accident marks a change in the sisters’ relationship, after which the two drift apart. But despite their growing rift, Nick, the eldest, is still desperate to repair the sisters’ relationship. But Nick’s attempts are abruptly cut short when Dara disappears on the night of her birthday. What follows is the intense, complex, and twist-riddled tale of Nick’s search for her sister.
By now you may have guessed that I really loved Vanishing Girls! It’s difficult to discuss/review/even talk about the book without discussing a major plot point and the ending, but never fear!
First, I’d like to say that Lauren Oliver’s writing in this book is just so incredibly talented! Her uses of point of view, characterization, and foreshadowing make the book so haunting, gripping, and realistic and its just amazing! Those technical notes aside, Oliver masterfully creates rich, complex characters, that instantly draw you in and allow you to completely delve into their mind and see their perspectives. The characters are believable, sympathetic, and human. The relationship between the reader and the characters and the reader’s faith in the honesty of the characters is, I believe, a key element to the book, and Oliver just does such an astoundingly good job at creating that relationship!
Second, let me take a minute to discuss the world Oliver immerses readers in. The world she creates is so much more than setting, involving the complex “inner worlds” of social and familial relationships and how they play out in real life. This is another key element to the story and one which Oliver also adeptly creates! The world of Vanishing Girls is not only believable, but also as poignant and intricate as the characters, and easily evokes emotion and sympathy from readers!
The Bottom Line: Buy it. Borrow it. Get it. You won’t regret it!